What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the application of the principles of learning and motivation from Behavior Analysis, and the procedures and technology derived from those principles, to the solution of problems of social significance. Many decades of research have validated treatments based on ABA. What that means is that Behavior Analysts look for the causes of behavior within the natural environment. We then use that knowledge to change the environment to support appropriate behaviors and decrease inappropriate behaviors. For children with autism, this involves identifying reinforcers and breaking complex skills down to simpler steps. For disruptive behaviors, appropriate alternative behaviors are taught.

What is Autism?

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.

The term “spectrum” reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism.

With Applied Behavior Analysis ABA, we teach children with autism the appropriate behaviors that occur too little and teach appropriate rates for behaviors that occur too much.

Where do I start?

Access early intervention and individualized education services.You don’t have to wait for a diagnosis of autism for your child to receive services to address related developmental delays and learning challenges. You can access these services free of charge through your state’s Early Intervention program or your school district’s Special Education office. You can also ask your doctor to refer your child for further medical and behavioral evaluations and therapies.

So, you just received a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder for your child. Now what? The first thing I recommend to all parents is to start educating yourself on the diagnosis and your treatment options. Autism Speaks has a great “100 Days” tool kit available on their website. I’ve provided the link to their website below.

It is important to make sure that you feel comfortable with your ABA provider(s) and that they are a good fit with your family. If your child is going to receive Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI), it is recommended to provide 25-40 hours per week of services. This means providers could be in your home, or your child could be at a center or school program for that amount of time. You want to find providers that will help your child make progress, as well as meet the needs of your family.

What to Expect from H.U.B.S

Once initial contact and an informational intake is complete, you and your learner will be invited for a family Intake interview where we will introduce ourselves and learn more about your family and what program or programs we are able to provide for your family. We then will give you a tour of the clinic. At this time we will go over family expectations, treatment goals, and answer any questions you may have. Following the initial meet and greet we will schedule a time in which the learner can come to the clinic for an assessment. The assessment chosen for the learner may be indirect (questionnaire), and/or direct (directly testing the learner). The results will be used in conjunction with caregiver feedback and direct observations by a licensed behavior analyst to create the behavior intervention plan and agree upon program goals.

At this time we will work together to set a schedule and begin therapy. Ongoing parental support, parent teaching, and progress meetings with your child’s team are provided as a part of your individualized comprehensive treatment plan.

Links & Resources

The following are resources with more information on Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).